Comparison of Chinese and Western Gardening Art

Gardening is an integrated art expressing the most closely relationship between human and nature. It is the carrier of society, economy, politic, and culture. From the history of gardening, we can see the commonality between Oriental natural landscape garden, with Chinese Landscape Garden as the representative, and the Western rule-based gardens, with “French-style Garden” as the representative. However, the overall image, landscape meaning, style, and mood of Chinese and Western classical gardens are quite different.

From the perspective of natural science, the difference is affected by geography and natural conditions, and other effects. From the perspective of social sciences, the difference is mostly subjected to different gardening ideas with the infiltration of philosophical foundation, aesthetic ideology and cultural background, which reflects characteristically the evolution of a nation’s view of nature, life and world. The different view of nature leads to different thoughts and expression means of Chinese and Western gardening art. Under the guidance of Chinese traditional natural Philosophy, which respects nature and promotes natural beauty, Chinese classical gardens, also known as landscape gardens, focus on the beauty of nature. Chinese classical gardens combine the artificial beauty and natural beauty subtly, to create the effect that “although made by mankind, it seemed created by God”, which reflect a style full of fun and liveliness. The Western t traditional natural Philosophy believes that man can conquer nature, emphasizing the power of people. So Western-style gardens pay attention to architectural order and organization of geometric patterns, presenting the style of uniform layout and order. With neat, precise, and uniform expression of art, Western-style gardens stress the beauty of artificial creation and skills of mankind.

Parallel comparison-based methods are used in this paper during the research on characteristics of oriental and west gardening art. Different attitude towards natural philosophy is reflected in garden art under different view of nature. Through parallel comparison among gardening elements, such as the relationship between landscape and architecture, roads, plants, rockeries, water, couplets and sculpture, etc. The paper showed further that the Chinese classical garden use rockery Stones, river and pool, garden plants and trees of freehand style to pursue the artistic conception of gardens, emphasizing beauty of perfect harmony of emotions and scenes, and communication between human and environment. The tree pruning technique, geometric pattern-style garden, plant maze, jungle, water law and sculptures are formal beauties pursued by Western rule-based gardens. The gardening art pay more attention to the presentation of formal beauty of number and percentage, which its poetic rationalization.

The comparison between Chinese and western gardening approach can make it better to knew respective style and characteristics, understand different cultures, seek common developing law and grasp true aspect of Chinese and western gardening art, which help to build modern morphological landscape architecture system. Finally, the paper focuses on contemporary Chinese gardening. With the arrival of the era of globalization, Chinese modern garden construction confronts the confusion of development. Some hang around and stagnate in the tradition, which results in antique in vogue; Some believe that western gardening methodology will be held on Extreme, which is the practice of total Westernization. Where is the way of Chinese garden going to? With development of modern technology and environmental science, Chinese and Western traditional gardening has gradually given way to modern gardening that is natural, eco-oriented, and pursuing harmonious development between human and nature. We must have an objective and comprehensive understanding of both fine tradition and existing problems, drawing on the strengths of Western gardens, carry forward the national culture. So that modern garden construction of our country can keep up with the times, develop healthily, and find the right path for development of Chinese garden construction, and then contribute to prosperity and development of gardening all over the world.

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